The staying power of charity shops

The staying power of charity shops View Gallery
Deirdre Duffy, a volunteer at the Irish Cancer Society charity shop in Swords in Dublin PIc: Maura Hickey

No matter how many recessions batter the high street, charity shops continue to survive and thrive. Sarah Taaffe-Maguire looks at the reasons why they have endured

Every year, traditional stores struggle to keep their place on the nation’s streets, and every year there are more shop closures. This year looks set to see an end to the presence of Debenhams stores across Britain, and Marks & Spencer is braced for hundreds of job losses in Ireland. Yet, with rents rising and consumers turning to online shopping, charity shops are holding their ground across the retail landscape. How is it that they continue to survive? What’s so magical about their business model that’s keeps them going?

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